Question: What is the meaning of windlasses and assays of bias?
Answer: "Windlasses and assays of bias" mean circuitous and
indirect ways or means. Assays of bias is a metaphor from
the game of bowls where the bowl, by a circular movement,
is made to reach the "queen," instead of by a direct line.
Mertins, Emma. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet/examq/three.html >.